Bio

Marlin works on various projects in addition to Anabaptist Perspectives. He is married to Meredith and father to Zadok, Katherine, Job, and Jude. He is from Wellspring Mennonite Church in Athens, Tennessee.

Contributed Content

We are currently revisiting our mission and purpose statements. One line in the original statement says we aim to “Promote biblical discussions among Anabaptist people about social and cultural issues.” 

One thing is clear four years later. Those discussions extend far beyond Anabaptist background people! For that we are grateful. 

Discussion and...

A church planter told us he connected with three people in his area through Anabaptist Perspectives. We learned of three teachers using our videos in high school or Bible school classes. This was a taste of the encouragement we received as we connected with a number of you at REACH last...

Saturday, April 2nd, 2022
Are commentaries cheating? Or do we need commentaries and study helps to understand and teach the scripture?  I believe using commentaries and study helps is important. Even more important, though, is keeping our primary attention on scripture itself. What I call the “inside-out sandwich” is a process for bible study intended to keep our primary attention on scripture, while...

Saturday, January 1st, 2022
“The chicken showed me where the chickens are getting out,” said my son.  We soon fixed that hole in the fence. (Unfortunately, there were more.) What stuck with me were the words “the chicken showed me”. Those words indicate observation and attentiveness. And, perhaps I push the point too far, openness to learning from the chicken. ...

Saturday, October 9th, 2021
Your heart matters. We are to love and honor God in our hearts. Pseudo-religion from an evil heart offends God. But what is the heart? Or, more to the point for this essay, what should the heart be contrasted with?   Some people contrast our hearts with our actions; what’s in the heart, versus what we do. ...

Saturday, July 3rd, 2021
“Slaves, submit to your earthly masters.” The injunction jars us.  We know the evils of slavery. We wonder why the early church did not loudly and roundly condemn slavery. Why do the New Testament letters instead tell Christians how to live within the context of slavery? This raises large questions which I hope sometime to discuss at more length. What I want to do in this essay,...

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021
What happens at the Lord’s supper? What is the nature of this important Christian practice? Understandings vary widely. One view of the supper, which I consider both extreme and oversimplified, is that the loaf and cup become literally the body and blood of Christ. Another extreme and oversimplified view claims that the supper is only an act of remembrance. Let me hasten to say that it...

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021
A preacher should have as much money in his library as in his pickup truck, or so says a pastoral advisor to my church. Those charged to regularly teach the scriptures need good tools for study. So do the rest of us. Not all of us will spend thousands of dollars on commentaries or devote years of our lives to studying the Greek and Hebrew languages in which the scripture was written. But, as...

Sunday, October 11th, 2020
A Christian magazine recently asked readers to comment on why we need new translations of the Bible from time to time. English Bible translations are a subject dear to my heart, and I shared a brief response for that magazine. Here on the blog I would like to give a slightly longer explanation. While I am arguing that it is important to make regular use of a modern English translation of the...

Friday, July 3rd, 2020
Since I did not live on campus, I spent time between classes in the Grove City College commuter student lounge.  One day my friend Brenda was speaking of her dislike for the military. She was responding to some callous young men. I started to push this conversation just a little bit. Brenda protested that, even if war is necessary, killing is certainly something to sadden one, not for one...

Saturday, April 18th, 2020
Part Two of Business as Stewardship A business person should steward his business abilities and roles. Stewardship is not limited to managing profits that may be gained through business. In Part 1 of this blog, I sketched an overall vision for acting as a servant-manager in business. This second part reflects in a bit more detail on some aspects of the stewardly role of business. I...

Monday, April 13th, 2020
Note: This is a bonus post Marlin Sommers wrote in response to current events. The second part of the “Business as Stewardship” post will be released next week. (Part 1, Part 2) Factories, Gardens, Giving, Guns: A COVID-19 economy and Stewardship. Jobs have been lost, hours have been cut, and businesses have closed. So far, the economic impact of COVID-19 is enormous. The scale...

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020
This is not an essay about how to handle profits that may be gained through business. Of course, if you do own a business that generates large profits, that does result in responsibilities to use that money well, but that is not the subject under discussion. Rather, the question is what does it mean to be a steward of business giftings and abilities, and of business roles and opportunities...

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020
Fourteen-year-old Bob has the rather grandiose title, “Steward of the Woodpile”. While Dad is gone, Bob is in charge of the woodpile. Bob is thrilled. He promptly messages his friends and says, “Hey nobody’s home tonight, come over and we will have the biggest bonfire you ever saw.” The next morning the firewood has been consumed. The temperature is well below freezing. Bob’s mom and siblings...